Arnold Arboretum August Events: Caterpillar Lab, Meditations, Hikes and More

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The Arnold Arboretum is a living, breathing, event-holding tree museum. There are numerous events in August at the arboretum -- and they're all free.

Here is a list of the events:

Meditation Mondays

Every Monday in August, 6:30 pm

Unwind with this weekly evening meditation under the shade of the maple collection. Facilitator Bob Linscott will guide the group through 30 minutes of mindfulness and meditation designed to help you de-stress and connect with the natural world.

FREE. Registration required. Sign up for as many sessions as you like.


Meandering Meditation: An Introduction to Mindfulness in Nature

Saturday, August 12, 9-11:30 am and Saturday, August 26, 9-11:30 am

This immersive experience in the Arnold Arboretum is an opportunity to step out of our hectic lives. Participants will be invited to meander through the Arboretum, with occasional stops for guided mindfulness practices to deepen their connection with the natural world. No experience with mindfulness or meditation necessary.

FREE. Registration required.


Second Sundays at the Arnold Arboretum

Sunday, August 13, Noon-3 pm

Bring your family and friends to Peters Hill for an afternoon of free tours, crafts, family activities, and more! Did we mention free ice cream and bubbles? Free activities open to all ages include:

  • Tours of Peters Hill offered in both English and Spanish
  • Plant information tents featuring wildflowers and plant defenses, fascinating Arboretum plant highlights, know-how of Arboretum experts, and a rich assortment of cuttings to view up close
  • Ice cream, art activities, lawn games, StoryWalks, and more

FREE. Registration is not required, but is appreciated as it helps to plan.


Morning Fitness Walk

Wednesday, August 16, 8-9:30 am

Join Arboretum docent Lisa Gaquin for a brisk early morning walk along the inside perimeter of the Arboretum. This 3.5 mile walk will be fast-paced, energetic, and will involve walking over hills and rough terrain. Bring good walking shoes, water, and walking poles if desired.

FREE. Registration required.


Caterpillar Lab

August 18-20; Friday: noon–4 pm; Saturday: 11 am–4 pm; Sunday: 11 am–4 pm

The Caterpillar Lab is coming to the Arboretum! This immersive, interactive exhibit features hundreds of native caterpillars at every stage in their life cycles. Learn from the experts as you explore the displays. The Lab offers something for every age group!

FREE. Registration is not required but is appreciated as it helps us with planning.

There will also be a caterpillar walk on Friday, August 18 from 4–5 pm. You can register for the walk here.


Family Hike: The Forest is Calling

Sunday, August 20, 1 pm-2:30 pm

Families need nature at all times of the year! Following a StoryWalk path, the tour will visit a nearby forest on Arboretum grounds and look under logs for the tiniest animals of the forest floor. Free and open to all, most suitable for children ages four through ten.

FREE. Registration required.


Tour: Peters Hill

Sunday, August 20, 2–3:30 pm

Join docent Rick Ward for a tour of Peters Hill. Learn about the history of this lesser-known corner of the landscape and the uniqueness of the plants that grow here, including its history as a “testing ground” for trees that were resistant to cold, wind, heat and drought conditions. This diverse area is home to white pines, dawn redwoods, bamboo, ginkgoes, larches, and a truly magnificent crabapple collection.

FREE. Registration required.


Workshop: Writing in the Company of Trees

Wednesday, August 23, 5:30–7 pm

Practice writing under, about, and in collaboration with trees. Join Matthew Battles, editor of Arnoldia, the Arnold Arboretum's quarterly magazine, for an immersive workshop in the Arboretum landscape.

FREE. Registration required.